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World Manufacturing Forum 2024

14/10 - 15/10 | Big Theatre, MIND Milano Innovation District, Milan, Italy

World Manufacturing Forum

14-15 October 2024


New Perspectives for the Future of Manufacturing: WMF Outlook 2030

The 2024 edition of the World Manufacturing Forum will delve into innovative pathways shaping the future of manufacturing, paving the way for progress and growth.

Through the World Manufacturing Forum’s first decade, more than 5,000 global policy experts, industrial leaders, and eminent academic and research innovators have come together to address the challenges and discuss the trends in global manufacturing.


Exclusive Location

Milan’s MIND Milano Innovation District is a vibrant hub at the forefront of technological and creative advancement in Italy. Located in an up-and-coming area of the city, this district fosters collaboration among leading companies, startups, and research institutions, driving innovation in fields such as technology, design, and sustainability. It serves as a catalyst for transformative ideas and initiatives, shaping the future of industry and society.
Big Theatre is a unique space, redesigned starting from the 2015 Expo Studios. A redevelopment project aimed to preserve and enhance the existing architecture and industrial design, all in total black. In terms of size, Big Theatre features a total area of 3,900 square meters, indoor and outdoor, with a ceiling that reaches a height of 14 meters. It can host an audience of 3,500 people simultaneously.


Participants will have an exclusive chance to engage with and gain a thorough grasp of key manufacturing topics, alongside experts from prestigious corporations, top international institutions, and leading research organizations.


An Unmissable Event in the Manufacturing Calendar. Join Us!

The World Manufacturing Forum stands as a prestigious gathering where industry leaders, influential policymakers, distinguished academics, and research pioneers converge to address the challenges and trends shaping global manufacturing. This event encompasses keynote sessions, roundtable discussions, and parallel events, focusing on the pivotal trends shaping the evolving manufacturing landscape and their implications.

From exploring the new skills for the future of manufacturing – to embracing a new age of manufacturing based on artificial intelligence and intelligent automation – to digitally enabling the emerging circular manufacturing paradigm – to supporting the redesign of supply chains for resilience – to helping innovate new business models for the sector, the World Manufacturing Forum’s reports have outlined over the years significant manufacturing trends and provided recommendations to assist governments and industries to identify and prioritise key actions for sustainable industrial development that are likely to promote a future that ensures economic, social, and environmental prosperity.


The 2024 edition of the World Manufacturing Forum will showcase the presentation of the 2024 World Manufacturing Report, titled ‘New Perspective for the Future of Manufacturing,’ along with the keynote address on ‘Tipping Points for the Manufacturing Sector’

Panel discussions will offer critical insights into the importance of understanding and navigating a foreseen volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business environment in the forthcoming years.
To see all panels, please click here.

14 October | 09:00 AM – 12:30 PM CET

Milan – Various locations


World Manufacturing Forum’s Company Visits


09:00 AM – 12:30 PM Company Visits

Participation is subject to confirmation by the company to protect intellectual property rights. Delegates will only be able to attend one company visit as they will take place simultaneously. Locations will be announced soon.


12:30 PM – 01:45 PM Accreditation and Welcome Lunch

14 October | 02:00 PM – 06:10 PM CET

Big Theatre, MIND Milano Innovation District – Milan




Moderator: TBA


02:00 PM – 02:20 PM Introduction and opening remarks

Diego Andreis, President, World Manufacturing Foundation
TBA, Confindustria Lombardia
TBA, Regione Lombardia
Marco Taisch, Scientific Chairman, World Manufacturing Foundation


02:20 PM – 02:30 PM Special Address: “Future-Proofing Manufacturing and its Supply Chains”

Speaker: TBA


02:30 PM – 2:50 PM Presentation of the 2024 World Manufacturing Report: “New Perspectives for the Future of Manufacturing: Outlook 2030”

David Romero, Scientific Vice-Chairman, World Manufacturing Foundation


02:50 PM – 03:10 PM WMF Keynote: “Tipping Points for the Manufacturing Sector”

Steve Smith, Tipping Points Impact Fellow; Hoffmann Fellow | Green Futures Solutions, University of Exeter; The World Economic Forum


03:10 PM – 04:00 PM WMF Panel I: “Living on the Edge: Climate Change & Sustainability Tipping Points for Manufacturing”

As climate change accelerates and sustainability imperatives become increasingly urgent, the manufacturing sector finds itself confronting environmental tipping points that demand decisive action. The “Living on the Edge” panel will explore these present and near-coming pivotal moments where the choices made today will shape the future of manufacturing and its role in the broader planet ecosystem. From supply chain disruptions driven by extreme weather events to the imperative of decarbonisation in production processes, manufacturers are facing multifaceted challenges. This panel will delve into the complex interplay between economic viability and environmental stewardship, highlighting the innovative strategies and technologies that hold the potential to tip the scales towards sustainability.
Jefferson de Oliveira Gomes, Prof. Dr. Eng. Director of Technology, National Confederation of Industry
Luca Torelli, EMEA Operations PMO & Transformation Manager, EssilorLuxottica | Young Manufacturing Leaders Member
More panellists will be announced soon.


04:00 PM – 04:30 PM Coffee Break


04:30 PM – 05:20 PM WMF Panel II: “Influx of Technology: Technological Tipping Points for Competitive Manufacturing”

The rapid advancement of technology and today’s fast-paced market are reshaping the manufacturing landscape, ushering in a new era of competitiveness and innovation. As emerging technologies reach tipping points of adoption and integration, manufacturers face a critical juncture where strategic technological decisions will determine their future success. The “Influx of Technology” panel will investigate the transformative potential of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, collaborative and mobile robotics, additive manufacturing, and the Internet of Things to gain competitive advantages. From optimising production processes to enabling mass customisation, the power of these edge technologies represents both opportunities and challenges for manufacturers. This panel will explore the most important technological tipping points shaping competitive manufacturing today, and chart a course towards a future where innovation drives success in manufacturing.
Jay Lee, Clark Distinguished Professor and Director, Industrial AI Center, University of Maryland College Park
Shi Zhe, Chief Digital Officer, Foxconn Group
More panellists will be announced soon.


05:20 PM – 06:10 PM WMF Panel III: “Demographic Cliff: Societal Tipping Points for Manufacturing Workforce”

The manufacturing sector is on the brink of a significant demographic shift that poses challenges and opportunities for workforce sustainability. As the ageing workforce retires and younger generations enter the job market with different skill sets and expectations, manufacturers must navigate this demographic cliff to ensure a robust and resilient workforce for the future. The “Demographic Cliff” panel will confront the societal tipping points affecting the manufacturing workforce and explore strategies for adaptation and transformation. From upskilling and reskilling initiatives to fostering diversity and inclusion, manufacturers must examine the multifaceted dimensions of workforce development. This panel will address the demographic challenges facing manufacturing by embracing diversity, investing in education and training, and leveraging technology such as artificial intelligence and intelligent automation to bridge the skills gap and cultivate a dynamic and inclusive workforce capable of driving innovation and sustained growth.
Vanessa Wainwright, CEO & Founder, Abodoo
Johan Stahre, Chair Professor, Chalmers University of Technology
More panellists will be announced soon.


15 October | 09:00 AM – 01:10 PM CET

Big Theatre, MIND Milano Innovation District – Milan




Moderator: TBA


09:00 AM – 09:30 AMAccreditation and Welcome Coffee


09:30 AM – 09:50 AM Keynote: “No More Waiting Time To Foster Competitiveness Through Gender Equality in Manufacturing Companies”

Cristina Oyón, Director of Technology, Innovation and Sustainability, SPRI


09:50 AM – 10:40 AM WMF Panel IV: “Skills Crisis: Talent Tipping Points for Manufacturing”

The manufacturing sector is undergoing a profound skills crisis, marked by a growing gap between the skills demanded by modern manufacturing processes and those possessed by the workforce. As technological advancements reshape the sector, manufacturers face critical tipping points in talent acquisition, development, and retention. The “Skills Crisis” panel will face the talent challenges confronting manufacturing head-on, exploring innovative strategies for navigating these tipping points and ensuring a skilled workforce for the future. From identifying emerging skill requirements to implementing effective training and development programs, manufacturers must cultivate a diverse and resilient talent pipeline capable of driving innovation and sustaining competitiveness. This panel will focus on forging a path towards a future where skilled workers are empowered to thrive in an ever-evolving industry landscape.
Juliane Hess, Director / Vice-chairperson, Service Operations Repair and Field Service Industrial Hydraulics, Bosch Rexroth / European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA)
Jason Wang, Managing Director, Smart Factory Institute
Simon Jacobson, Vice President of Manufacturing Research, Gartner Inc.


10:40 AM – 11:30 AM WMF Panel V: “Geopolitical Shifts: Global Trade Tipping Points for Manufacturing & Supply Chains”

The dynamics of global trade are undergoing profound shifts, driven by geopolitical developments, trade policies, and economic uncertainties. These changes present both challenges and opportunities for manufacturers and supply chains, necessitating a strategic approach to navigate the tipping points that define the future of global trade. The “Geopolitical Shifts” panel will discuss the pivotal moments shaping global trade and their implications for manufacturing and supply chains worldwide. From trade disputes and tariff escalations to geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions, manufacturers must find ways to successfully navigate the complexities of the global trade landscape. This panel will highlight best practices and innovative approaches for mitigating risks and seizing opportunities in an increasingly uncertain global trade environment that calls for resilient manufacturing and supply chain ecosystems.
Eric Enselme, Executive Fellow, World Economic Forum, Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chains
Agustín Saenz, Strategy, Market & Technology Director, Tecnalia Research & Innovation
More panellists will be announced soon.


11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Coffee Break


12:00 PM – 12:50 PM WMF Panel VI: “Innovate or Else: Economic Tipping Points for Manufacturing Business & Operating Models”

In the face of rapid technological advancements, changing consumer demands, and evolving market dynamics, the manufacturing sector finds itself at a pivotal time. Traditional business and operating models are being challenged, necessitating a long-overdue modernisation to drive sustainable growth and competitiveness. The “Innovate or Else” panel will seek to catalyse a dialogue on the need for innovation in manufacturing business and operating models. From embracing digital transformation to reimagining supply chain management and customer engagement, manufacturers must explore the transformative potential of innovation across all aspects of production operations to remain competitive or even survive in the global arena. This panel will shed light on the latest trends and strategies for driving meaningful change and unlocking new business opportunities in the manufacturing landscape.
Cynthia Hutchison, CEO, US Center of Advanced Manufacturing
Jeff Winter, Senior Director of Industry Strategy – Manufacturing, Hitachi
Vinesh Maharaj, Associate Director, PwC’s Smart Manufacturing


12:50 PM – 01:10 PM Closing Remarks

Diego Andreis, President, World Manufacturing Foundation
Marco Taisch, Scientific Chairman, World Manufacturing Foundation


01:10 PM – 02:15 PM Lunch

15 October | 02:30 PM – 05:00 PM CET

Big Theatre, MIND Milano Innovation District – Milan




Organized by Young Manufacturing Leaders Network


Moderator: TBA


02:30 PM – 02:50 PM Welcome

Speakers will be announced soon.


02:50 PM – 03:10 PM KEYNOTE: “Industry 5.0 – Towards a Sustainable, Human-Centric, and Resilient Manufacturing Sector”

Speakers will be announced soon.


03:10 PM – 03:50 PM YML PANEL I: “Inseparable Binomial: Digital Technology and Circular Economy for Sustainable Manufacturing”

Panellists will be announced soon.



David Romero, Scientific Vice-Chairman, World Manufacturing Foundation
Antonella D’Urso, Event and Project Officer, World Manufacturing Foundation


04:00 PM – 04:40 PM YML PANEL II: “Perfect Binomial: Skills Development & Technology Leverage for Human-Centred Manufacturing”

Speakers will be announced soon.



Moderators will be announced soon.


04:50 PM – 05:00 PM Closing Remarks

Moderators will be announced soon.

Gain insights from renowned experts and explore essential themes and groundbreaking strategies to drive a transformative revolution in the Manufacturing sector.